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Displaying items by tag: Donegal

#Kayaking - It's been two years since David Burns and Maghnus Collins completed their epic 16,000-mile, 292-day Silk Roads to Shanghai adventure by foot, bike, raft and kayak.

They became in the process the first people to navigate Asia's longest river, the Yangtze, from source to sea by kayak.

In the meantime, they've kept their ambitions closer to home, but no less adventurous – starting a gruelling 24-hour challenge in the rugged landscape of Donegal simply called The Race.

As SportsJoe.ie reports, The Race is no ordinary race. Think a triathlon – running, cycling and swimming – but swap out the swimming for kayaking, add on an extra discipline (in thus case climbing) and cap it off with a full marathon run through the night.

All in all, competitors must cover a distance of 250km within 24 hours. And amazingly, there are some who can do that with hours to spare.

Take Canadian athlete Ben Wells, who set the record of 15 hours and 22 minutes in last year's race, and believes that even that time can be beaten in this year's even scheduled for next weekend, 7-8 March.

But for most of those taking part, only 10% "will be aiming to win it," says Burns. "The rest will be testing themselves against the course.

"The camaraderie was massive last year - everybody was willing the next person on, giving encouragement. We're expecting the same this year."

SportsJoe.ie has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking

#Weather - Huge waves came crashing over the Inishowen Peninsula yesterday as the Atlantic 'weather bomb' hit the northwest coast.

The video above, care of The Daily Edge, shows the sheer power of the swells that brought waves as high as 62 feet off Irish shores, putting the cream of the world's big wave surfers on high alert.

But as previously reported on Afloat.ie, the best surfing conditions need more than just a big swell - with the forecast wind direction putting paid to any attempts at riding a monster.

Published in Weather
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#angling – Minister of State, Joe McHugh TD, visited the River Lackagh, Co Donegal, on Monday 20th October to view at first hand major angling development works currently underway to enhance this highly scenic salmon and sea trout fishery.

As part of an overall joint management plan for the development of the fishery, the Creeslough Angling Club, in conjunction with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), have completed a major upgrade and expansion of angler access and car parking facilities along the lower reaches of the river near Creeslough village. The majority of the work was carried out by Tús community work placement workers, with materials and additional labour supplied by IFI.

Commenting on the visit, Minister McHugh said: "I had a very positive visit to the River Lackagh where I had an opportunity to see for myself the very encouraging development carried out on the upgrading and expansion of facilities at the fishery and the great work being carried out by all groups, including the Creeslough Angling Club, the IFI and on a broader level, the Donegal Angling Tourism Alliance.

"I would like to thank those present for giving clear and concise briefings on how developments are underway and outlining where they believe the future of angling for the River Lackagh and the surrounding lakes is heading. There are many opportunities here which are being pursued by local and national groups and I commend them on their hard work to date and look forward to working closer and supporting where I can, as Minister and within the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources."

Previous developments on the fishery, funded mainly under the Salmon Conservation Fund administered by IFI, have seen a series of fishery and habitat enhancement measures completed including introduction of spawning gravels, fish passage improvement, selective bank clearance and erection of livestock fencing along key river bank sections. Salmon numbers have improved steadily on the fishery in recent years with the fishery re-opened on a 'catch and release' basis for the past two seasons.

Milton Matthews, Director, Inland Fisheries Ireland, briefed Minister McHugh on progress towards securing a major capital project for the fishery next year which would see a crump weir and fish counter facilities installed on the river. If successful, this proposal would represent the first such counter along the north Donegal coast.

Niall Gallagher, Paddy Boyle, chairman and secretary of the Creeslough AC, and consultant Kevin O'Connor, presented a copy of the 'Future Development plan for angling tourism and conservation of the Creeslough Fisheries to the Minister. The plan details future angling development proposals for the River Lackagh system and surrounding lakes including creation of additional angling spaces on the Owencarrow River, as well as provision of improved access, parking and mooring facilities at Glen Lough, Natooey and Roosky lakes.

The plan represents one of a number of similar projects developed by the Donegal Angling Tourism Alliance (DATA), a group formed in 2012 to promote game and sea angling in Donegal in partnership with Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Dr. Ciarán Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland, expressed his delight with achievements to date in Donegal, highlighting what can be achieved jointly by local angling clubs and interest groups working closely in partnership with IFI to secure development and long term sustainable management of fisheries. He commented: "Inland Fisheries Ireland is delighted to lend its support to the Donegal Angling Holidays initiative for the promotion of game and sea angling in the region."

Published in Angling

#Coastguard - RTÉ News says Gardaí are investigating an alleged assault on a man who was airlifted by the Irish Coast Guard from a vessel off the coast of Donegal this morning (Friday 19 September).

The Irish Independent has more on the airlift, saying the seaman on a Liberian registered merchant ship has sustained chest injuries.

The Irish Mirror is reporting the incident on the Africa Star as a 'stabbing' but no specifics are known at this time.

The Sligo coastguard helicopter Rescue 118 reached the vessel in international waters some 220 miles off Donegal Bay just after 7am this morning to winch the casualty on board and airlift him to the mainland for treatment.

Published in News Update
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#CruiseDonegal – Having sailed from Belfast, the 51,000 tonnes Crystal Symphony anchored this morning off Greencastle from where as previously reported, Donegal Co. Council are backing the Loughs Agency to upgrade facilities.

The visit of Crystal Symphony is an impressive sized cruiseship to Lough Foyle. The €170,000 investment in Greencastle is to develop the lucrative cruise trade to the north-west. The aim is to increase cruise-based visitors to tour the Inishowen Peninsula, with Malin Head been the main destination attraction.

Crystal Cruises, operators of the ultra-luxury 900 passenger-plus cruise line won three first-place awards from CruiseLine.com's Bon Voyage magazine. The online publication's panel of experienced cruise editors chose the winners for the first annual Editor's Choice awards, giving Crystal five accolades overall – more than any other luxury line.

Among the categories won was for Best Refurbished Ship in which Crystal Symphony was awarded Silver. The 238m long cruiseship having recently undergone a $15 million redesign.

The redesign for example involved a newly-styled Avenue Saloon, one of the ship's most popular venues. The piano bar retains its 19th-century gentlemen's club feel with rich mahogany woods, buttery leathers, and luxe velvets. So click HERE for a peak and more!

Published in Cruise Liners

#Fanad - TheJournal.ie reports on the death of a man in his 60s who fell into the water at Fanad Lighthouse in Co Donegal.

The man was believed to be photographing the area when he slipped on a rock and fell into a gulley, which coastguard boats from Lough Swilly had difficulty accessing due to strong winds.

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#Diving - RTÉ News reports that a man has died after a diving accident off the Donegal coast yesterday afternoon (Saturday 12 July).

The deceased, said to be in his 50s and a visitor to the area, was one of two divers who were reported in difficulty off St John's Point near Killybegs.

Bundoran RNLI's volunteer crew launched their lifeboat in response to the scene, near St John's Point Lighthouse, just after 4.30pm along with the Killybegs Coast Guard boat and the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118.

On arrival they found that a man had been taken to shore, where he was being given CPR.

The casualty was transferred to nearby White Strand, where the helicopter could land, while CPR continued by an advanced paramedic from the lifeboat.

The man was then airlifted to Sligo General Hospital, where he later died.

His companion diver, a man in his 30s, was also transferred to the hospital.

The incident comes almost four weeks after the last diving incident in Donegal, when a man died following a rapid ascent to the surface during a dive at Malin Head.

That same weekend also saw the death of a Limerick diver at Roches Point, and since them there have been two more diving fatalities, after two men died in an incident while wreck diving off the West Cork coast earlier this month.

Published in Diving

#MarineWildlife - Two of the stranded pilot whales at Falcarragh in Co Donegal have been refloated by locals against advice to leave them alone to die naturally.

According to RTÉ News, the public was warned away from the strand - now reported to be Drumnatinny beach - but a group met at first light this morning where they found four whales still alive in a pool of water and refloated two of them at high tide.

The locals said they watched the whales for several hours to make sure they did not strand themselves again.

But their actions still go against "internationally accepted" practice to leave whales that strand after being refloated to die in peace, as Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) welfare officer Paul Kiernan explains.

Meanwhile, a visitor to the area has told the Belfast Telegraph of her horror over scenes on the beach where hundreds of onlookers gathered to see the beached whale pod.

Nicola Hinds from Bangor said some parents encouraged their children to interfere with the carcasses, while others photographed dying whales with camera phones.

She also criticised authorities for not handling the situation better, describing the scene as "an act of total wilful animal cruelty".

IWDG strandings officer Mick O'Connell has since written a column discussing the lessons to be learnt from this incident, calling for the State to establish official procedures for live strandings.

"It is time for State agencies to sit down and decide who has responsibility for live strandings in this country," he writes. "The relevant agency needs to have in place a coastal network of personnel trained in the latest 'best practice' guidelines for dealing with live strandings."

These guidelines, O'Connell adds, must be "backed up with appropriate authority to act as beachmaster when dealing with members of the public, the Gardaí and the Irish Coast Guard service."

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - More sad news from Ballyness Beach in Falcarragh this morning (8 July) as RTÉ News reports that all but one of the whales returned to the water after yesterday's mass beaching have stranded again and are being left to die.

Seven of the 13-strong pod have already been buried on the beach, with five more still alive but in no condition to be returned to deeper water, while one whale is unaccounted for.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - RTÉ News reports on the deaths of five pilot whales in a 13-strong pod that beached in Donegal this morning (Monday 7 July).

Despite valiant efforts by locals, four of the whales stranded Ballyness Beach in Falcarragh were already dead when the pod was discovered in distress.

Several whales also beached themselves again after a JCB was used to try to drag the surviving pod members out towards the sea. A fifth whale, a juvenile, died soon after.

It's hoped that the next high tide will help the remaining eight whales out of the shallows to deeper waters. RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

The story brings sad memories of the more than 30 pilot whales lost in a mass stranding on Rutland Island some three-and-a-half years ago, and more recently the 16 pilot whales that died after beaching in eastern Scotland almost two years ago in similarly tragic circumstances.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Page 6 of 13

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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